RTV 440 Project Steps &
You must sign up for shooting training and certification. Be
sure to bring your own SDHC or SDXC card, Class 10, with at least
16GB storage. If you are ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY skilled with
the JVC and Canon cameras, demonstrate that to the trainer this
week. If not, you must learn the Canon, next week you must
learn the JVC as a back up option.
First shooting assignment below,
but first REVIEW THESE GUIDELINES FROM THE SYLLABUS:
NEWS STORY PROJECTS, FURTHER GUIDELINES:
1. Specified time and content requirements must be
followed for project credit.
2. If you fabricate content or violate legal
newsgathering practices, you will fail the
course. You must fill out and turn in
accurate information for everyone you speak
with about a news story, and you must
include accurate first and last names of
everyone included in a news
story. NOTE: Even after completing this course,
grade will be changed to an ‘F’ if is
discovered that you fabricated any
content in any news
story. Academic Honesty: See the Student Handbook.
Every person used in your story must
be connected to the story -- no 'man on the
street' commentary sound bites and no
acquaintances may be used in a story.
3. Material must be air quality, suitable for
broadcast--content, style, and pronunciation.
4. A project that does not fit air quality guidelines
will receive a negative (D grade or
lower) evaluation. Negative
evaluation with ANY of the following errors: bad audio,
bad lighting, shaky shot, weak story
content, missing required story/visual content
(e.g. 2-shot, reaction shot, stand
up, lack of sequences), unapproved story, editing
error, script error, labeling error,
digital file name error, plus others as noted elsewhere.
5. Your voice and talent must be the only ones used
during all productions.
6. All video and scripts should be your own original
work done at the time of the
assignment during this semester.
Typed and appropriate scripts must be submitted
with each story as assigned (and
shared in your Google Drive folder). Rough draft
scripts and final draft scripts must
be properly shared in Google Drive.
7. Be sure to turn in each assignment properly labeled
and as assigned. Stories
with all supporting materials must be
turned in as described in class by the assigned
deadline for credit. Any missing
required item means story is marked not submitted.
8. No jump cuts, shaky shots (use a tripod!), bad
lighting, bad audio, or date stamps.
These will be marked as Fatal Flaws
(FF); story may be marked as not submitted and
with course grade penalty. All
sound bites must be close miked, with lapel mics only.
9. Remember, LATE NEWS is an oxymoron. Turn in
scripts and projects ON TIME.
10. ACCUMULATE YOUR PROJECTS on computer and as uploaded
digital files and save your
scripts and story content as
the semester progresses.
11. Saving files on your edit station: set Final Cut Pro
so that all content for your edit is within
your own project folder, that
is on the current semester folder and then the RTV 440 folder.
12. You may do a feature during the semester only with
approval. A feature may be
generally described as ‘about
it/them’ while a straight news story is ‘what
happened/what is happening/what
will happen.’ Features must be packages.
13. Each VO-SOT-VO must have VO with b-roll, a sound bite,
followed by more VO.
These must be submitted as
described in class. Any one SB MUST be : 10-:16 long.
Your sound bite must start with
:02 silence or nat sound only before the
audio of the sound bite
starts. A double SOT VSV story may be done based on specific
advance instructor approval and
14. Every package must have two separate interview subjects
used and a minimum of
three sound bites within the
story. Accurate CG name/location/title information must
be on the script and produced
story. CG must use assigned template. VSV of the same story
may use the same sound bite
guest but a different sound bite than used in the package or is
marked as not submitted.
Sound bites may be no more than :30 total of a package.
15. Every package must have one stand-up and no more. A
SU close must be the story
close followed by our
standard outcue: "Bob Smith, A&M-Commerce, Mane Media
OR -- for upload to the
Smith, A&M-Commerce, East Texan News
SU Bridge is best--if done
correctly. Lapel mic only on stand-up. Proper attire on SU.
16. No stock footage in any news story. Shoot new
footage for each new story you do.
No one else may shoot your
video and you may not use video shot for any other
purpose. You will fail the
course if anyone helps you create any news project.
17. Begin your process of covering news by checking
beats. ALWAYS SUBMIT A TYPED
LIST OF A MINIMUM OF THREE
STORIES EACH MONDAY or you will have points
deducted. Standard topic
sign up deadline is two weeks before project due date.
18. On packages, video must start :02 before audio starts.
Hold your final shot after the audio
ends for a minimum of :05, then
black only. VSVs must have one continuous-shot :20 video
pad after the timed sequences
of Tape 1 and after the timed segment of video that follows the
sound bite on Tape 2. All
pads on these must be one continuous visual, not a series of edited
shots. (story is rejected if
pad is not done correctly). The pad VSV shots must a wide shot
that relates to the story's
content, and you may not use the same shot for both pads.
19. Submit one typed script in final draft quality with each
news story submitted. A .doc / .docx
version must be e-mailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org by due time. Rough draft script is
always due as assigned; final
draft script and story by 5 pm of due date. At the time
of submitting the final draft,
all source/verification material must be turned in as a hard copy.
20. Department topics or people only with approval. Never use
news sources. If
you do, it will count as fabricated content (see item 2 above).
21. Shoot all video in SP speed, 16 x 9 aspect ratio and with
audio set to 16 bit. We are shooting
SD 16:9, 30 frames
(29.97). The standard for FCP and Premiere is .mov mode.
On the JVC
shoot only as .mov; on the
Canon XA20, shoot only in MP4 mode -- recording at 24 Mbps.
You must know how to manually set
audio levels, white balance, focus, iris setting and shutter
speed. Use autofocus only as
discussed in class. Never shoot in 24 frame mode or with any
digital effects. You must
know when and when not to use -48v setting on your camera.
transitions in news stories are
cuts. Be sure camera ‘white balance’ is set correctly each
you start shooting.
22. Photography is the art of capturing and controlling
light. If you shoot in a low-light situation,
you must still have enough
light on the subject to be seen. Take field lighting gear to shoot.
23. You must make advance contact for each event you cover so
the organizers know to expect
you. Some events may not
be public or may not be feasible to shoot as a news story. As
as you select a story, you must
immediately confirm that it will be an available event to shoot.
24. Camera and gear reminder -- you take financial
responsibility for everything you check
out. You must shoot with
a tripod, and if we start getting them broken by negligence,
they will no longer be
available and you will have to go buy your own. Walmart sells
basic ones for about
$30-$40. Take care of the equipment--there is no budget to
what we have.
AND SOME NPPA-style News Tips:
1. Find a way to care about your story and storytelling
in the news. If you don't care, no
2. Have a plan.. If you go out shooting wildly, someone
will get hurt--YOU.
3. Reporting is like being lectured; storytelling is
like recess. Do storytelling.
4. Don't try to cram 100 pounds into a 10-pound bag;
find your story focus & stick to it.
5. Nat sots grab 'em and keep 'em--nothing tells a story
better than three seconds of
meaningful natural sound.
6. Throughout the story, build your report around
7. Stop writing occasionally and let two or three
seconds of compelling action occur
without voice over.
8. Your close should be so strong that nothing else can
9. Build in surprises. The secret to doing
it well is the set-up.
10. Tell your story through people. Very few shots
should be without people in them.
11. Prove your focus with video and sound.
12. 'A trailer has burned down' is not a story focus, because
it fails to meet the 'so what'
test. “The trailer burned
because the walls are full of flammable insulation that is
dangerous for others” describes
the larger issue and makes the story compelling.
13. Action and reaction are critical components in the visual
storytelling process. The
reaction makes it
memorable. Show reaction in every story.
14. Recheck NPPA Tip #1
STORY 1 WORK
AFTER passing quiz and doing hands-on Canon camera training, use a
Canon camera to shoot an 8-question minimum interview with anyone
about 'construction work on campus.' Shots must be MS,
objective pov, correctly lit and miked. After main interview
continuous1-shot, get 5 sequenced shots of the guest doing something
and including appropriate 2-shot. Interview questions must
focus on‘what’s hard and/or what’s useful, good but also
problematic, bad regarding current parking, Rec Center and Nursing
Building construction. START by creating an 8+ question script
done like this.
Possible group shooting time in class on Wednesday. If so, work with
your partner and go get about 3:00 to 5:00 b-roll for a PKG and VSV
that would tell the story about current progress, impact and/or
what's coming coming up soon with campus construction. A
script to follow is linked on the outline, and you must edit the
story into a VSV then PKG.
How to write a VO, VO-SOT, PKG A
Day in the Life of a TV Reporter video
1: The reporter is on camera while they roll 'Tape 1"
and stops reporting for them to start Tape 2, that begins with the
sound bite. When the sound bite ends, the reporter finishes
the story as more VO. It's not a well done story, but it is
a sample of a VSV, voice-over / sound on tape / voice-over.
2: note once again, the reporters read the script,
'Tape 1" is rolled for VO, 'Tape 2 is started with sound bite at
the beginning, anchor continues VO reading after sound bite.
3: instead of seeing the produced story, it's the raw
materials of b-roll and nat sound of Tape 1, with the sound bite
starting Tape 2 connected instead of separate, but with the 'vo'
b-roll still there after the sound bite.
4: another one produced on air: you would have edited
the first b-roll with nat sound as 'Tape 1' and then 'Tape 2' that
would begin with the sound bite followed by b-roll. Note as
produced live, we hear the sound bite audio before seeing the
person speaking, but in the raw tape is started with the person on
Sample PKGs: Snow Day
The next are features -- more about a general idea of something
than an event, but still good to review their style.
Open Mic Night. Joey
Gonzalez Feature. Club
This series was produced about 20 years ago and a bit about it (like
type of cameras, and linear editing) are outdated. But you'll
learn a lot about being in the field and covering stories by
watching these. Some may be shown in class, but you should
watch them on your own. Your class grade will be affected by
not watching these. Take notes as you watch and put your notes
in your Google Drive assignments folder. There are sample
questions on this to guide your notes.
Shooting TV News Part 1
. Shooting TV News Part 2
Field Shooting Video #3
Field Shooting Video #4
Field Shooting Video #5
Work begins 2/19. Story event must have occurred by 2/28.
You must collect and keep records that demonstrate your research of
the story. Create one page that lists each step you make in
covering the story: 1. 2/19: Found The Sound of Music event
2/23, 7:30 pm in the Music Department on their web site.
2. 2/19 Found and printed a news release from MacCom
about The Sound of Music 3. 2/20 Created and
posted interview script to interview Justin Takelley about the
event. 4. 2/22--Interviewed Justin
Takelley at 4 pm in his office ETC.
NOTE YOU ARE WORKING ON A SCHEDULE BASED ON WHEN YOUR EVENT TAKES
PLACE, BUT EACH ELEMENT HAS AN ABSOLUTE DEADLINE.
your event was 2/19-23, your
completed PKG is due by Wednesday 2/28 and VSV (if assigned)
2 is based on selection and approval of your topic as listed on
the 440 Outline. Keep copies of all materials used to gather
information about your story.
Final story submission will be story script, then 'Index
List' (as described above), then interview scripts(s), then all
other supporting materials stapled together and submitted at time
of story submission. Story
topic approval due by Tuesday 2/20--some will have been done last
week. Story event
must occur by 2/28.
script due at Monday 2/26 class time (*OR earlier, see above).
Rough draft hard copy story script due at Wednesday class
time (*OR earlier). *script always due before shooting each--if
your story was last week, you are turning in your final draft
script with supporting materials.
ALSO write and post a VSV version of the
If you shot by 2/27, your PKG is
due by 3/2 and VSV (if assigned) by 3/5. If you shot after
2/27 your PKG is due no later than 5 pm Monday 3/5.
Half the class (assigned
at random) will re-edit as a VSV due no later than Tuesday 3/6--communicate
with Allie James and the TV Newscast producing team. Your work is NOT
SUBMITTED unless you also turn in a final draft hard copy of
the story script after completing all production work, with all
supporting materials stapled underneath.
If approved for upload to the online news site, you must
get it uploaded this week also, by Thursday. The PKG will have
to have a revised outcue done and graphics of name keys added for
the East Texan Online.
When you finish editing your story, FIRST be sure to finalize your
audio: all 'foreground audio' (sound bites, your voice-over, audio
on your stand up) MUST all peak at -3. Background audio on a
separate track must be set to about -10 to -12 generally ON EACH
CLIP. Your .mov file must be converted to a DV Stream file
using MPEG Streamclip, sent to the server using Filezilla, and
tested for quality on the server. Note the file-naming
limitations for the media file. STANDARD OUTCUE on our
packages is now: "Your Name, A&M-Commerce, Mane Media
News." A PKG media file must be named: 2-3 word
slug PKG your initials, like Building Collapse PGK EMG.
VSVs will be: Building Collapse VSV1 EMG and Building Collapse VSV2
EMG. ALL PACKAGES must have a 2-shot with one of your
Remember, do not add graphics / name keys to work submitted to the
server--ONLY add those when it's time to upload online. ALL
COMPLETED WORK -- all of the above, due by the stated
deadline. Late work has no value.
'B' GRADE story work --- OR,
may be done to have a chance to improve your Story 2 initial 'no
First -- read all the requirements of stories as listed above.
Among the basics: (a) you must shoot and edit sequences--if your
final story does not have proper sequencing, the story grade wil be
no higher than 'C' and will likely be lower, (b) capture good audio
then edit good audio--set levels on your edit station before doing
the final export to an .mov file, (c) no zooms, no pans, no shots
without proper lighting.
Proposed news story topics are to be listed
before the Monday 3/19 class – with story topic to be approved and
by Tuesday--it is the student's responsibility to talk to the
instructor and confirm the topic.
See the sign up link on the
topics count as not
submitted—check the list before posting your three story ideas.
grade’ on your script returned Monday 3/19 for Story 2, you will
get a grade, but it
will be very low. To
points, do Story 3 and MEET ALL DEADLINES – see the Project
Directions and be
sure you do it right. Everyone
a chance to improve your Story 2 grade, BUT – it will not count as
‘B story’ –
you have to decide and let the instructor know by 3/21:
if you have a
grade for Story 2, is
this the B story or a replacement story? AND – the ‘A’ story weeks
the ‘B’ grade story, OR …You would have a new schedule to work
toward an A,
with three stories to cover in the coming eight weeks.
You have to confirm your choice with me this
week and we’ll establish the schedule.
But, as noted, if you have ‘no grade’ on your returned
script, this is
not an issue—either do this next story for a chance to improve
your Story 2
grade, or don’t and you’ll get the grade the work justifies.
Story 3 must be covering an event between 3/20 and 3/28. The
completed PKG is due no later than one week after the event you
cover, with an absolute final deadline of
5 pm Monday 4/2 for PKG and VSV version due by 5 pm Tuesday 4/3.
Your work is NOT SUBMITTED
unless you also turn in a final draft hard copy of the story
script after completing all production work, with all supporting
materials stapled underneath.
The VSV hard copy script may have no additional attachments
unless others are justified.
YOU MUST ALSO post the final draft of each script at the time of
story submission to the Story 3 Folder on the desktop of one of the